Why Real Estate Agents Fail

Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® Paupack Group RS301772

One of my friends on G+, Annie Maloney, posted this Realty Times article, about why some agents fail and others do not "in today's economy."

The main point the author of the article made was that agents who fail, do so because they are in the grip of fear.

I respectfully disagree.  Some failure I attribute to lack of training. Some agents simply have no clue because their brokers do not train them. Yet, if they really wanted to succeed...they would get training.

My first broker did not train me. I was determined to succeed, so I turned to sources like Active Rain, Real Estate Tomato, Jennifer Allan's Sell With Soul, and several others to learn how to generate business online and through my SOI. I made friends here in the Rain who challenged me, who shared with me, who inspired me. I give them and ActiveRain credit, but ultimately, it was up to me to pursue it.

I now work for a broker who provides excellent training along with the most amazing support system you could imagine.  Our office is like a family (sometimes a bit wacky). Yet, some people come, and go...they float, they drift...they leave the business.  Why? 

I think that MANY (not all but a significant number) fail due to "stinkin' thinkin'" or excessive negativity.  Two examples that come immediately to mind are former colleagues of mine. Neither one of them ever saw the glass as half full. They not only saw it as half empty, but they also expected a hand to come from out of nowhere and dump their glass over.  

Both of these women spent a great deal of their time being negative. Oh, they said they were being "realistic" but their brand of realism generally did nothing but annoy the rest of us who wanted to succeed and do well. Common things heard from their lips:

"How are we expected to compete against her?" (referring to the top producer in the office who had spent years building her business systems and is to this day one of the top agents overall in our MLS and in our franchise)

Instead of using her for inspiration, they used her as an albatross about their necks. Other things they routinely spewed:

"This market sucks."

"Buyers are liars!"

"Sellers are unrealistic!"

"I can't afford to send out all those calendars" (or postcards, or expired mailings)

"Every time I try, someone knocks me down."

"Nothing sells around here."

"I have such rotten luck."

"I never get any good leads."

"The phone never rings when I have floor time."

"Nobody ever comes to my open houses."

"My client is an idiot."

"I can't believe I live in this hell hole!"  (At that, I was offended and suggested she go back to wherever it was she came from, if she thought so little of our town.)

"I don't know how to __________" (take good pictures, write blogs, talk to sellers...so...LEARN!)

"This business is too hard."  

Whine, whine, whine!


The part that aggravated me the most was when I or someone else in the office would get a sale, or a new listing, one or the other of them would sigh, roll their eyes, say I was so lucky, blah blah blah. No. Success came from working hard.

I didn't always know how to blog. I still am not an expert. I had to learn.  I didn't always know now to take great pictures.  I still am not a professional photographer. But it's not by LUCK, or even TALENT... it's an aquired skill.  I didn't always know how to make a website.  I figured, if an 11 year old kid can learn it, so can I.

I am not a whiny, glass-empty person.  I do not believe in pity parties..at least, not for long. Everyone gets down sometimes. Life has a way of beating you up.  You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

If what you're doing isn't working, maybe you should look at yourself more closely. Listen to the stuff that comes out of your mouth.  If you spew negativity, it will come out in your life.  This is a tough business to be sure, but it's not for whiners.  Put your big girl panties on, learn how to generate business, and just DO it. 

UPDATE: Please be sure to go read Lenn Harley's EXCELLENT continuation and addendum to my blog - she brought up another important factor: MONEY. You can't start this business without it!  

Posted by


Karen Rice Lake Wallenpaupack Real Estate Blog Northeast PA

Use the links below to learn more about real estate for sale and about my innovative marketing plan for sellers in Pike and and Wayne County of Northeast PA.


Areas Served: Hawley, Honesdale, Lake Ariel, Lake Wallenpaupack, Lords Valley, Greeley, Greentown, Tafton, Waymart, and Lackawaxen. Planned Communities: The Hideout, Hemlock Farms, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Fawn Lake Forest, Pocono Springs, Masthope, Indian Rocks, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, and other communities in NEPA.

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John Kreiss,REALTOR®,CBR®,SRES®,e-PRO® 02/15/2013 05:48 AM
  2. Ginger Harper 02/18/2013 07:19 PM
  3. Bob Crane 02/24/2013 09:05 PM
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Comments 61 New Comment

Karen Rice
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing your thoughts.  Keep positive! Positive!!  That seller that used to be so stubborn...well that person may very well be way more realistic now. Don't be a downer and say "that house will never sell' and instead, approach the seller and say "Still want to sell? Here's how!" and then just do it. I got about 100,000 in price reductions this week by being POSITIVE - not "Oh they'll never reduce, just let it expire".   It's going to be a GREAT YEAR!!! What say you?

February 18, 2013 07:27 PM
Charles Stallions
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services

As the ole saying goes you become what you eat, think or live I suppose

February 20, 2013 04:42 PM
Bob Crane
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663
Woodland Management Service

Thanks Karen, Attitude is everything and negativity can be not only destructive but infectious as well.

February 24, 2013 05:11 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Hi Karen -- there's no place for negativity in our business or in life -- a postive approach will bring us better results plus that happiness(not Pollyanna but general happiness) will attract the right people as well. Congrats on the gold star.  

March 09, 2013 07:28 AM
Sharon Tara
New Hampshire Home Stager
Sharon Tara Transformations

What a GREAT post....sorry I missed it originally, but I'm glad I found it today!  Too often "being realistic" is used to defend what is ultimately a negative attitude.  

April 14, 2013 08:49 AM

Karen Rice

Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
Contact Karen Today
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